Dividing is an invitation to engage with the notion of ‘dividing’ in the spectrality of its possible meanings, and exchange on methods for dividing things up that are beyond fixed, determinism-oriented articulations of difference. It is a collective effort by a group of invited researchers and practitioners to articulate and situate techniques, and contribute to a process of making research public through propositions, open review processes and a hybrid publication.
Dividing as a term captures a generous contradiction: it is as much about dividing things up, as it is about joining together. Dividing assumes radical irreducibility of different cosmologies and a reemergence of a critique that challenges both the dialectical negation and the persistence of affirmation in contemporary posthumanism. To divide is to perform a quantitative operation by which we achieve an equal distribution. It is the mathematical operation of articulating a ratio: it requires inclusion of rational numbers to compute quantities. Concurrently, division is about unity – government or corporate activity organized in a functional unit, or a territorial section. By taking part in something somebodies are united. Dividing is relevant to the much-discussed refusal of ‘hyper-separations’, taking the issue with Kant’s idealism and Cartesian dualism but also contemporary gender, computational and other binarisms and divides. This sensibility towards the difficulty and importance of carefully articulating difference is of highest importance for engaging with computational techniques and digital technologies, as techniques for symbolizing difference. Dividing is at root of extractive economy, as critics of capitalism often remind. Alienation from living-space entanglements, turns life into resource for investment.
This first encounter on Dividing in January 2023 will mark the beginning of the joint work on a journal issue for Techniques Journal to be published in early 2024.